Global Climate Conference: SUN Countries and Coordinator advocate for inclusion of food systems in climate negotiations and alignment of climate and nutrition finance

December 12, 2022 - Last update: February 10, 2023

SUN Countries, joined by the SUN Coordinator, actively participated in last month’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) to call for aligning climate and nutrition finance and to advance climate-resilient, nutrition-sensitive agrifood systems that support healthy people and a healthy planet.

This translated into numerous high-level dialogues, side events and advocacy activities aimed at promoting the importance of the nutrition-climate nexus and supporting SUN Countries to gain simplified, faster and increased access to climate finance – particular for those SUN Countries whose food and nutrition security are severely affected by climate change. It also included strong advocacy action to push for food and nutrition security as well as food systems to be included in the UNFCCC’s joint work programme on agriculture.



Ahead of the climate conference, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and SUN Coordinator Gerda Verburg, held virtual climate-nutrition policy briefing calls with SUN Country COP27 delegations from Djibouti, Cambodia, Kenya, Timor-Leste and Zambia. This supported these SUN Countries to more effectively engage in the climate-nutrition nexus at COP27.

At COP27, the SUN Movement organized two side events moderated by the SUN Coordinator. The side event Unlocking Climate Finance for Resilient Food Systems and Nutrition was held at the Food Systems Pavilion on 8 November and provided a platform for four SUN Countries (Djibouti, Cambodia, Zimbabwe and Pakistan) to share solutions to unlock climate finance opportunities for transitioning towards sustainable food systems.

Also on 8 November, the UNFCCC COP27 Official Climate Action Hub side-event Nutrition and Climate Financing: How to Walk the Talk highlighted the importance of aligning climate and nutrition finance to transform food systems to become more climate-resilient, nutrition-sensitive, sustainable and equitable. Participants included the Vice-President of Côte d’Ivoire and high-level representatives from the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the Global Environment Facility and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The need to unlock opportunities for countries to strengthen their capacity for building investible business cases to access climate finance was a key topic in most of the 30 bilateral meetings that the coordinator held with development, climate, food systems and nutrition leaders, several SUN Lead Group members and SUN Country delegations.

Food systems and nutrition are now well-positioned on the unofficial COP agenda as evidenced by at least three pavilions dedicated to food systems and a high volume of events related to food systems, the nutrition-climate nexus and healthy diets.

For the official COP27 outcomes, food and nutrition security fared better than food systems.

The existing Koronovia joint work on agriculture (KJWA) was expanded to establish the four-year Sharm el-Sheikh joint work on implementation of climate action on agriculture and food security. This decision also recognized that the  KJWA had noted “the importance of scaling up support to enhance action on safeguarding food and nutrition security and ending hunger, aiming for inclusive, sustainable and climate-resilient agricultural systems…” The final decision, though, fell short of including a focus on foods systems specifically in the new joint work programme. There is, however, a small window of opportunity until March 2023 for governments and civil society to shape and broaden this agenda for the next four years, and the SUN Movement is supporting countries to drive the process forward.

Parties also held back from including ‘food systems’ in their final COP27 outcomes declaration, and rather opted for the more agriculture-based ‘food production systems’, noting that they recognized the “fundamental priority of safeguarding food security and ending hunger, and the particular vulnerabilities of food production systems to the adverse impacts of climate change”.

The Food and Agriculture for Sustainable Transformation Initiative (FAST), which aims to improve the quantity and quality of climate finance contributions to transform agriculture and food systems by 2030, and the Action on Water Adaptation and Resilience Initiative (AWARe), are also mentioned in the COP27 outcomes declaration.

One significant milestone for nutrition at COP27 was the launch of the Initiative on Climate Action and Nutrition (I-CAN), the multistakeholder, multisectoral global flagship initiative of the Egypt COP27 Presidency, in partnership with the World Health Organization, FAO, other UN agencies and partners, which aims to foster collaboration to accelerate transformative action to address the critical nexus of climate change and nutrition.


Watch recordings of SUN Movement COP27 side events:

Access key documents: